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Mental Health options available for university students, especially during pandemic

Dealing with your mental health during the pandemic.
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:00 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Stress and depression can be difficult to deal with during the pandemic, but how challenging can it be for college students?

At South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, the director for the counseling services, Duane Kavanaugh, says last spring they started to see more students coming in for counseling services.

“We actually launched an online screening tool that students can go to and fill out. And within the first day of opening that we had 53 students fill out the survey. A lot of it really is related to stress and not knowing what’s going to happen,” says Kavanaugh.

On an average day this school year, Kavanaugh says they will see about six students, and he also says they have seen an increase in students walking in and asking to see someone that day.

“Really does relate to the stress level that students are feeling—both from the pandemic, but just the stress level of being a college student. Particularly for are freshman; you know a lot of times this is the first time that they’re away from home, they are on their own. It can be pretty overwhelming,” says Kavanaugh.

At Black Hills State University, Resident Advisors are taught to notice warning signs that their residents might be dealing with stress or anxiety.

“Not that they’re given the responsibility of diagnosing or counseling as an RA, but they can start to look for hey is this person getting up and making it to class time. Do you notice that they’re complaining about being tired all the time,” says associate professor of psychology, Dr. Emilia Flint.

Counseling services are available to students, and there are two different options.

“Students can elect for Telehealth services so they would meet electronically with a licensed counselor. Students sometimes chose that option because they can stay in their rooms. The second option for students is they can meet face to face with a licensed provider,” says Flint.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1-800-273-8255.

Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.

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